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Pat Popolizio takes over the North Carolina State wrestling program after compiling a 81-53 record over six years at Binghamton.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Wrestling coach Popolizio departs for N.C. State
April 11, 2012Tweet
Binghamton head wrestling coach Pat Popolizio has taken a position as the head coach at North Carolina State, both universities announced April 10. Popolizio, who spent six years building the Bearcats wrestling team into a top-20 program, will head to Raleigh, N.C., and begin his new position with the Atlantic Coast Conference-member Wolfpack.
Binghamton will start an immediate national search for his successor.
“We wish Pat well in his new position,” Director of Athletics Patrick Elliott said. “He’s done an outstanding job here, building our program into one of the premier wrestling programs in the country. I want to thank him for his hard work and commitment to our student-athletes over the past six years.”
Popolizio’s tenure was capped with an outstanding 2011-12 season that ended with his second Colonial Athletic Assocation Coach of the Year honors in the last three years. His 2011-12 squad went 15-4 to set a program record for win percentage (78.9 percent), earned the highest national rank in its Division I tenure (18th), finished as CAA runner-up by the slimmest of margins and then showed its prowess at the NCAA Championship. In St. Louis, Binghamton’s five national qualifiers produced 18 wins and crowned two All-Americans.
Popolizio, 81-53 in his six seasons as head coach, churned out 21 NCAA qualifiers and four All-Americans. The 14th-place national finish was the highest of any sport in Binghamton’s 11-year Division I tenure and the highest NCAA finish for a CAA wrestling program in the last five years.
“The last six years have been some of the most exciting and memorable of my career,” Popolizio said. “Binghamton is a special place, not only the administration and student-athletes but the alumni. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to help build the program at Binghamton and appreciate all the support that everyone has given. I’m also excited for the future of college wrestling and for the future for Binghamton. I know big things will happen with this program and I wish them all the success.”
North Carolina State placed fourth at the ACC Championship this past March and sent five individuals to the NCAA Championship, crowning one All-American.